Easy Whipped Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Whipped mashed potatoes with onion topping | jessicagavin.com #recipe

Have you noticed that potatoes always gets a bad rap until the holidays roll around? I know, those poor delicious carbs, it’s just not fair! To make up for this injustice, I think a recipe for fluffy, creamy, buttery whipped mashed potatoes are in order. Mashed potatoes are one of the simplest dishes to make, however there are many ways to make them. The good new is, I’ve found a method that I really like for the silkiest and most flavorful spuds which I want to share you!… 

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Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Recipe

sauteed brussels sprouts with bacon recipe | jessicagavin.com

Brussels sprouts, love them or hate them? Sometimes just hearing those two words can make you cringe, but it doesn’t have to be that way! It seems that many kids and adults have taste aversion when they hear that those adorable baby cabbage looking veggies will be served on the menu. However, have you noticed that lately they have become sort of cool? I’ve been seeing recipes for Brussels Sprouts pop up for them all over the internet, they are crying out to be eaten and respected and I think it’s because chefs have finally figured out how to make them taste good!

I remember being a curious little girl at the grocery store and when no one was looking, I grabbed one little sprout, for some reason it looked so cute, like a mini head of cabbage. I took one sniff and thought, not bad. I took a small bite from the raw veggie and spit it out immediately! Ewww, what was I thinking! The sprout was tough and tasted bitter, I was not a fan.  I honestly don’t think I have had any desire to make a Brussels sprout dish since then. Fast forward a couple years, when I was in culinary school my chef instructor showed us how to properly cook and flavor these unappreciated yet healthy veggies. Let me show you what I did to make a flavorful and surprisingly satisfying sautéed Brussels sprouts with bacon recipe…. 

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Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping

Sweet Potato Casserole recipe with Pecan Topping | jessicagavin.com

Whoo hoo! My hands down favorite holiday is almost here, Thanksgiving! It’s all about the food, football, wearing pants that stretch and getting that food coma “glow” with family and friends, it’s the best. There’s also no better time to turn a starchy sweet root vegetable into a dessert masked as a side dish. Those bright sunny orange fleshed sweet potatoes (also known as yams in North America, but that just doesn’t sound as yummy) are pretty amazing to eat just simply roasted or steamed. They have this incredible natural sweetness, yet are packed with healthy vitamins like beta carotene and dietary fiber. What’s not to like about a carb that tastes good and is healthier for you? I wanted to get a little more creative with my holiday sweet potato casserole recipe this year, oh man it’s addicting… I could’t stop sneaking bites!… 

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Classic Pumpkin Pie Recipe

The Best Classic Pumpkin Pie Recipe | jessicagavin.com #food #pumpkinpie

To kick off the month of November right and get us excited for thanksgiving, nothing screams holidays like a freshly baked pie. My house has been completely scented with the smell of sweet spices, bubbling sugars and baked butter crusts, and I’m not complaining (well maybe just my waistline). I really wanted to find a rock star classic pumpkin pie recipe so that I could always have an ace in my pocket for holiday gatherings. Pumpkin pies are one of the staple items people have come to expect on the dessert table. Without it you feel like something’s just not right. It’s a tall order because if you are making the pie, there are expectations, so you gotta nail the recipe. Wanna learn how?… 

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No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups | jessicagavin.com #recipe #cheesecake

Warning! This recipe is extremely easy to make which means you can satisfy your cheesecake craving at any moment, and may become highly addictive… Whew, glad I got that out of the way! Sometimes when I think about making cheesecake, I cringe. To make a cheesecake just right, it takes a lot of time and proper technique to nail the super decadent creamy texture. Not to mention you’ve got to fire up the oven, make a water bath, hope the top of your cheesecake doesn’t crack…urgh, the stress is unbearable at the moment. I have been seeing a lot of great no bake dessert recipe ideas, so I thought I would give these no bake pumpkin cheesecake cups a try! This is an especially clever dessert to make when you have run out of oven space during your holiday cooking marathon…. 

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Pumpkin Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

delicious pumpkin pecan streusel coffeecake | jessicagavin.com #fallrecipe

Dare I say, fall is finally making it’s appearance in Southern California? During our walk back from our favorite local breakfast spot this past weekend with my husband Jason and baby James, I finally noticed some indicators of autumn. Leaves are beginning to turn brown on the trees and just barely starting to cover the ground. Some of my neighbors have started to put up some spooky Halloween decorations, and of course pumpkins in their front yards. As we almost reached home and I finished sipping the last addictive ounces of my chai latte, I got a sudden urge to bake…. 

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Halloween Graveyard Brownie Cupcakes

Halloween Graveyard Brownie Cupcakes | jessicagavin.com #halloween #cupcakes

“Trick-or-treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat…”, do you remember that song? I used to joyously sing that song with my cousins, knowing very well how naughty it was, whoever wrote it must be a gazillionaire! Halloween has got to be one of my favorite fall festivities. It’s one of the rare nights sugar crazy kids get to stay up all night, dress like what they secretly want to be in real life, collect pillowcases full of free candy from strangers and your parents don’t say no. I admittedly had a secret stash of candy hidden in my closet that I was sneaking each day until Santa came to town. Now being a mom, I’m having fun dressing up baby James in adorable costumes until he can chose his own someday. This year I found the most legit baby Batman onesie with a detachable cape and everything, score!… 

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Pumpkin Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Stack of Pumpkin Cream Cookie Sandwiches | jessicagavin.com #cookies #recipe

Dunk…wait for it…nom nom nom! Oh boy do I love Oreo cookies with an ice cold glass of milk so I can dip each bite, so yummy! I don’t know how it started but I remember playing a game of who would get the cream filled center with my friends, anxiously holding one side of the cookie, pulling the sandwich apart like it was some magical wish bone. The crumbly chocolate wafer cookies are filled with just the right amount of vanilla cream and is one of my favorite childhood favorite treats, darn you Nabisco! Now these cookies are my adult guilty pleasure, and no better time to indulge than during the holiday season…. 

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Pan Seared Halibut with Lemon Dill Sauce

Pan Seared Halibut with Lemon Dill Sauce | jessicagavin.com #recipe

When I was in culinary school at The Art Institute of California-Orange County, I remember seeing a flyer that displayed a perfectly cooked and plated piece of halibut fillet. I remember thinking that I wanted to be able to execute something so beautiful in the kitchen by the time I graduate. I finally got the chance to learn how to properly pan sear fish during my Art Culinaire class, where we studied the cuisines of top chef’s from around the world. I learned that a hot pan, sizzling oil, dry surface on the fish, and a little bit of patience and attention helped create the beautiful pan seared crust on any fish. I wanted to share this pan seared halibut with lemon dill sauce recipe with you because it really is very simple to make!… 

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Chocolate Pumpkin Pecan Scones

Amazing pumpkin pecan scones with maple glaze | jessicagavin.com

Fall is finally here! This marks the beginning of my baking extravaganza. The first fall sightings were the giant bags of miniature Halloween candies exploding from the aisles in the grocery store. I also can’t forget those adorable mini pumpkins and sticky caramel apples. I try not to go to the market hungry because there are too many temptations right now. But boy, was I craving something pumpkin flavored, so I purchased my first can of Libby’s pumpkin puree. I couldn’t wait to think of a sweet treat to bake! So I decided to go all out and pack these buttery little pastries with my fall flavor arsenal, creating chocolate pumpkin pecan scones with maple glaze, boom!… 

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